Chas Currence - Inspector Impersonator
With Halloween coming up, not all those who dress up are rewarded with candy for clever costumes! In 1900 Chas (C.W.) Currence was arrested for impersonating a postal inspector. Determined insane, he would be sent to an asylum, only to be released and arrested on multiple other occasions.
Who is C.W. Hooten
In April of 1900, a man claiming the name C.W. Hooten (actually C.W. Currence) showed up at a postmaster's office in West Virginia, stating that he was a postal inspector. Currence was arrested on May 3, 1900, by Postal Inspector S.T. Hooten of Baltimore, Maryland. He was assigned to Judge John J. Jackson in West Virginia to await trial.
During this time, Currence attempted suicide on three different occasions. Judge Jackson determined that Currence was unable to stand trial and sent him to the Spencer State Hospital at Spencer, West Virginia. However, he was released a short time later.
The Continuation of C.W. Hooten
In April 1901, Currence showed up at another post office, this time claiming to be a U.S. Marshal. He had in tow with two men who he had "arrested" for postal crimes. Almost immediately, the postmaster called the man's buff and determined he was not of sound mind.
Inspector S.T. Hooten was assigned the case of the impersonator. Shortly after this event, Postmaster Evans from link, West Virginia, had a C.W. Hooten walk into his office claiming to be postal inspector. This time, he claimed that Postmaster Evans had been reported to the Post Office Department, and he paid $10 the inspector could get him out of trouble.
S.T. Hooten was notified, and it became clear that culprit was the same C.W. Currence who had been released from the asylum a year prior for the same crime.
Investigation and Manhunt
C.W. Currence would continuously be arrested, convicted, and released for impersonating a postal inspector. Again in 1903, Currence was discovered under the F.C. Shannon with a postmaster in Fox, West Virginia, There, Currence had spent two weeks assisting and even appointing positions with the postmaster.
Currence was, once again, apprehended and sent to the asylum in Huntington, West Virginia. And, once again, he escaped. On the run for several months, he popped back up in 1906 as an inspector in a post office in Mandeville under the name C.W. Smith. H was arrested on October 24, 1906, and sent back to the Huntington State Mental Hospital in West Virginia, this time to remain indefinitely.
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